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Public Relations Marketing 101…Forgotten Art? July 26, 2008

Posted by David Dirks in Marketing Buzz, Public Relations Strategies.
Tags: , , ,

The previous blog posting I did prior to this one was about how to hire a marketing or sales consultant. I forgot to mention one thing.  It’s an insight into just how the ‘shoemakers have no shoes’ (as the old saying goes). Here’s what I mean:

I write a business column on marketing for the Times Herald-Record (www.recordonline.com) here in New York State. With a business partner of mine, we’ve been writing this weekly column since February of this year. The column, like this blog, focuses on sales, marketing, and organizational issues that confront businesses today and our suggestions for dealing with them. I focus on the sales and marketing columns and my partner focuses on the organizational development issues.

Now here’s the deal. In this part of the Hudson Valley, I could probably throw a random stone and hit a ‘marketing’ or ‘sales’ consultant. There’s plenty of them around. How many of them have contacted me since February about a column idea? Or an interview opportunity? Guess? Zero. Instead, I’ve had to chase them down. I wouldn’t hire any of them because they have missed what seems to be to be a simple and basic premise regarding public relations marketing. There so good that they failed to see the marketing opportunity in pitching a story idea in their own market!

If you’re a local marketing or sales consultant or business consultant…why not pitch a potential story idea to the folks who write the weekly marketing and sales column? Huh?

You might say, “maybe they don’t read paper”. They don’t read the local paper that serves a huge portion of the area they live and work in? They really stink then.

Columnists and business editors are always on the lookout for good story ideas. If you have to write nearly 52 columns a year, you need ideas.

So, here’s another question to ask a prospective marketing or sales consultant when you’re shopping for one:

When was the last time you pitched a story about a idea you had for your local paper on the subject of marketing or sales? What was the story idea? Did you get some publicity?

If the answer is no, run. You don’t need a shoemaker who doesn’t own a pair of shoes and goes barefoot.



1. Lisa, Director of Vertical Insight - July 27, 2008

Hey there,

Interesting read, thanks. I must say that I am in the upstate NY area (although not in the Hudson area) and I was unaware of your column. I’ve only been in this region since the end of ’05, but this is the first I’ve heard of the Times Herald-Record.

So now that I’m clued in . . . my intention is to build a relationship with you and your partner. It is quite sad to learn that Marketing/Sales Professionals in your immediate area have not pitched in articles, ideas or even very many blog comments. So for the record I’m going to proceed with this comment by answering the questions you have posed to local Marketing Firms & Ad Agencies.

Let’s see, “When was the last time you pitched a story about an idea you had for your local paper on the subject of marketing or sales?” I have just written a piece earlier this month to contribute to a local annual publication that focuses on career search for their target audiences: High school & college students and entry-level young adults.

You ask, “What was the story idea?” The article focuses on what to learn and build upon when working in the retail industry. Basically, that it’s not just about stocking shelves and cashing people out. It includes quotes and suggestions from some reputable shops in the local mall and really identifies how a newbee in retail can achieve more out of the job quickly. The purpose of focusing on retail is because many of the jobs in this rural area are retail based. And it is an area with a high percentage of small business owners. So learning and achieving a lot in a new retail job can help some of these youngin’s to grow and eventually manage or own their own shops down the line.

“Did you get some publicity?” Not as of yet, although that was not my intention for the piece either. The print date of this next edition isn’t until sometime in August or September. I am pleased that the owner of the publication provided a positive response both when I pitched the idea and upon receipt and review of the article.

So there you have a little response to your blog post. Feel free to enquire with additional questions if you like or at any time for thoughts on new articles. I can be reached at info@verticalinsight.net or (607) -821-2636.

Have a great weekend!

2. David Dirks - July 28, 2008

Lisa: Excellent! It’s good to see you doing what most in the business don’t do. I’ll be in touch and we can discuss some potential ideas for an upcoming column or blog post. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us!



3. David Ross - August 1, 2008

Great blog and I suppose a real eye-opener for some. Your perpective from a media stand-point intrigues me, as I work for a Minneapolis-based PR firm called Kocina Marketing Companies. What we’re great at – and this, I think, may be where we differ from most PR firms – is the fact that we constantly have our fingers on the pulse of the media. We have to, otherwise, as you mentioned, we miss out on opportunities to help with a story. I can’t imagine why a PR firm would be so neglectful as to not even pick up the phone to give you a call! Collectively, our publicists make about 30,000 calls each month to the media. They’re always reading newspaper columns – both local and national – in search of opportunities to pitch a story.

So, there are still those of us out there who have not forgotten Marketing 101. And hey, we don’t mind if the other PR firms miss out on story opportunities. It just leaves more for us!

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